If you've already earned a Spartan Trifecta, or 50 Spartan Trifectas, you might be wondering: What now? The answer: It's time to go Ultra. Now, I don't work for Spartan Race in any capacity at all. They don't pay me, even when I am on the Elite Podium at their events (that's a joke, you can laugh), and we are not partnered with them in any way at the time of this article being published.
The 1st question you need to ask yourself is this: Can I do it? The answer is obviously yes. Whether or not you've completed other OCRs prior, the answer is still yes. There is only one caveat: If you train for it. If you train for a Spartan Ultra, you can absolutely finish it.
The 2nd question you need to ask is: Which one? Spartan hosts a lot of Ultras around the world. Do you want to find a more local Ultra and hit that one, or would you rather turn this adventure into a full-blown adventure/vacation combo and go somewhere awesome in the world? That's up to you. You will probably need to discuss the answer to this question with your bank account and see if you can get on the same page.
The 3rd question you need to ask is: What type of terrain do I want for my first Ultra? All Ultras are not created equal. If you do the Fayetteville, NC Ultra, you can be certain to avoid hills of any real difficulty and encounter fairly easy terrain. If you do the Tahoe Ultra, you can be certain of 10,000ft+ of elevation gain, rocky terrain, the challenges that come with exercise at high altitudes, and so on.
The 4th question needs to be about what you will wear for this Ultra. Some shoes that are good for short-distance OCRs aren't wonderful for 10+ hours of OCR. The weather for the location you choose will further dictate the clothing needed for the event. People in OCR definitely overthink brands for gear. Just get gear that fits what you need and roll with it. You'll probably be alright.
The 5th question is HOW will you train for this Ultra? Do you simply want to complete it in the permitted time frame? Do you want to finish in a certain amount of time? Are you competing in Age Group or Elite waves? All of these factors will determine how much training, and how much training time, will be needed to prepare for your Ultra.
Ultras aren't everyone's cup of tea. However, I do think it's a very valuable experience for anyone in OCR to complete an Ultra at least once. It builds a lot of confidence in an athlete and pushes you mentally and physically to a place you might not otherwise go. Once you've done one, it's obviously up to you whether or not you ever do another...but I warn you...they can be addicting!
7 Training Days Per Week
The Ultra OCR training program demands dedication and determination. Each week, you'll have 6 days of training followed by a 7th day of fully programmed recovery work. You'll be amazed at how your endurance builds leading up to your Ultra. If you're ready for the challenge, sign up now.